Ranking the SEC baseball stadiums

How does Baum-Walker compare to the other SEC schools? I was reading on the Mississippi State Maroon site and they were saying how our stadium was not great and that the building near right field looked awful.

The only SEC baseball stadium I have been to was Baum-Walker before the building near right field was built. I thought the field turf was as good as a major league field. The stadium was new and clean.

I think these old redneck boys may just be jealous.

Baum and Dudy Noble are the two best. Dudy Noble probably has a little more of a wow factor from the outside, but if you ask me it lost some of its game-day charm when left field was overhauled and commercialized.

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MSU LSU Baum top 3. Pick your order

You have to deduct points from Dudy Noble for location. After all, it is located in Stank Vile. That’s going to affect your game day experience.

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I’ve never seen LSU’s stadium except on TV, but I’m not impressed with it. The bullpens are open down the baselines & the bleachers in right & left field are just that—bleachers. Obviously I can’t tell too much from TV, but I’d put it behind Baum & Dudy NOble. I’d put OM’s place third. Alabama has a new park & I have no idea about it.

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Where would you rank the new Florida ballpark? Believe it opened this year.

Alabama’s park is better than Ole Miss’ park. Swayze Field is nothing to write home about. Sewell-Thomas is really nice, just smaller than the SEC parks that get the most attention.

The only redeeming quality about Swayze Field is the atmosphere, which is as good as anywhere.

LSU has a great atmosphere, but I might rank half the SEC parks over Alex Box aesthetically, assuming the new ones I haven’t been to yet are as good as advertised.

Matt:
Why was the new baseball center at Arkansas built in right field? Was it put there as a wind break or was that the only place to put it that was close to the stadium?

It seems to me that was the only available real estate near the stadium. With the Razorback Foundation and ticket office, baseball stadium, Tyson Center and Fowler Center, the rest of that block has been built on.

I suppose it could have been built in left field, but that would have taken away one of the main attractions in the stadium.

I agree about The Box II
Haven’t been there, but did go to the original, and the footprint is essentially the same.

The bleachers are ugly, and the bullpens being in the field of play is just stupid

Pretty sure it was posted here during our series with LSU that their stadium was renovated with the intention of keeping the original design of Alex Box. Sentimental, but that wears off after a few years when traveling to all the other nicer parks.

That’s correct. The new Box is essentially the old Box with suites. That’s probably overly simplistic, but that’s how I see it. I was told by someone with experience in stadium design several years ago that they could have gotten a lot more out of what LSU spent, which I think was around $36 million.

LSU and South Carolina opened their stadiums in 2009. I’ve heard, but have never verified, that Ray Tanner liked Baum’s renovation in 2006 and wanted to have a similar feel in Columbia. There are some differences, but Founders does have some elements that feel like Baum, primarily the chair-back seats down both foul lines. I don’t think any other SEC park has suites that run the length of both foul lines like Arkansas does.

Since 2009, several SEC stadiums – Alabama, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Florida — have been built or overhauled. I feel like Arkansas’ and South Carolina’s stadiums hold up against the new ones a lot better than LSU’s.

I’ve heard of a lot of teams that toured Baum when they were in the process of building their stadium. The new O’Brate Stadium at Oklahoma State looks like it was influenced by Baum.

I’m sure you’re right about that. The only reason I put OM third is it’s size and what I understand are recent renovations. I’ve seen it but never been in it. In fact I’ve never been inside any SEC stadium but ours so I can only go on what I see on tv.

I’ve been to Texas’s stadium and was not at all impressed. It is nowhere nearly as nice as BW and has turf, not grass

I do not like stadiums that have restrooms and concessions beneath the seating areas.

Swayze looks like that, there is no continuous concourse above the seats. It also base walled off seating blocks which make it look unappealing to me.

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Disch-Falk opened the same year as George Cole Field and hasn’t been modernized very much. They spent a bunch of money on it in 2008 but the new version looks like the old one with a few suites.

To have concourses above the seating areas it has to be dug into the ground, basically, and that’s not always feasible because of groundwater and other considerations. I guess you could build a high platform like the outfield bleachers in Omaha but the climb to get up there ain’t great either.

I think they’ve led the league in attendance for
19 straight years. That says something about the atmosphere.

I do wish the new building in RF looked a little better from inside the stadium. I have seen the videos of facility on the inside and understand it is world class there and will give us every advantage in recruiting and development that we need, but it sure would look dramatically better from inside the park and on TV had they just incorporated a few seats.

I’m not talking about a lot of seats, but just having 3 or 4 rows on the level directly above the bullpen and then a couple rows on the 2nd level to overhang outside of the offices would have greatly enhanced the appearance without adding much to the overall cost.

Heck, you could have even included a rooftop patio to rent out to private groups. Would be a really cool vantage point and you could rent out to pretty large groups.

To me it just looks like a building that is a bit out of place and out of balance in a ballpark where you pack several thousand people in left and zero in right.

BWS is still the best atmosphere in the SEC and one of the top stadiums in the country so I’m definitely not complaining, just feel we could have made it even better with a few minor changes to the new baseball center. As baseball continues to explode in popularity in this state, I think we may regret not making a little better use of this prime real estate in the next few years.

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Could be some of those things are done later

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